In preparation for Christmas, as per my usual pattern, ProfessorRoush planted an Amaryllis bulb, 'Red Lion', about 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving. This year's selection was purchased as a dormant bulb at a local nursery, so one could say that I splurged compared to my usual purchase of the bulbs at Sam's Club or another big box store. All according to my new resolution to support small nurseries.
In most years, that 6-weeks-prior-to-Christmas-potting results in some welcome bloom and bright colors just at Christmas, so imagine my surprise this year when the bulb just sat there. And sat there. It had a greenish skin color at the top, obviously still viable, but it sat there. I kept it watered and in full sunlight and still it stubbornly stared at me, reluctantly unwilling to reciprocate with regal red flowers or, for that matter, even stems. Christmas came and passed without a hint of growth from the bulb.
Finally, sometime after the New Year, my prima donna bulb decided it was time to come out of dormancy and it teased me over for weeks with the slow development of a sturdy stem. I added rotating the pot every other day to my chores since the stem kept slanting towards the light. At three feet tall it decided to put out three buds, just in time to lull me into anticipation of bloom by Valentine's day. Valentine's day came and went. And then, on February 15th, it decided that since St Valentine's day was over it could finally come out of hiding to bless us with its presence. Three large beautiful bright velvety blooms in three days. On the 17th, as the third bloom opened, we left for Las Vegas. When we returned on the 21st, all the blooms were sagging, their energy spent, their beauty gone.
I may never know what was so obviously amiss this year. Perhaps the bulb was weak? Perhaps the pot too small? The water or light too slight? At any rate, at least the birds got to enjoy it through the window; a red beacon of Spring, shining from the sunroom of an empty house for a few scant days.